African American Religion Summary

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What is African American Religion? – Chapter 1 Analysis In the first chapter of What is African American Religion, the origins of Africans in the Americas, their relations with European nations, as well as the establishment and conclusion of slavery, is introduced. This chapter also spoke on the various labels used by Europeans to define black bodies and validate their enslavement and mistreatment. By constant use of degrading and demeaning descriptors to categorize black bodies, a link is sought to be established, correlating blackness and inferiority. The first section of this chapter, it speaks on the introductory relations between Africans and Europeans. When trade was limited between both parties, there was a slight rapport built between…show more content…
This started as early as the mid-1400s, and through the labor demonstrated by the Africans in the “New World,” the value of African labor increased; creating a greater demand for slaves. This explains why South American countries have some of the largest black populations in the world, outside of African nations. Currently, Brazil has the second largest black population in the world after Nigeria. That truly shows the extent of black bodies brought to South America, and how adamant these nations were on being built by this slave labor. This also does not consider the fact that, Hispanic and Latino are not true races, but rather racial mixes of indigenous, black, and/or white…show more content…
“The closer a race was in appearance to the Greek body, the closer that race was to the ideal.” Africans differed completely from this standard of beauty, and as a result, were identified as inferior. Physiognomy was used, having one’s character being determined completely based on societies perception of beauty. It can be concluded that, since the Africans had no physical similarities to Europeans, they were deemed ugly. Since they were deemed ugly, it was inferred that they were ugly in personality, character, and nature as well. All of these attributes that made the Africans different from the Europeans, were used as tools to justify their mistreatment. If someone is looked at as ugly or inhuman, they do not deserve to be treated as human. If someone doesn’t deserve to be treated as human, it does not rest on the conscience of the oppressors when they are unjust toward
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